FANDOM


James Hepokoski and Warren Darcy’s recent “sonata theory” promotes a fundamental distinction between sonata expositions that are either two-part or continuous.  I contend that this binary opposition misconstrues the commonality of formal procedures operative in classical sonata form.  Advocating a form-functional approach, I argue that all sonata expositions contain a subordinate theme (or, at least, sufficient functional elements of such a theme), even if the boundary between the transition and subordinate theme is obscured.  I illustrate three categories of such a blurred boundary: (1) the transition lacks a functional ending, but the subordinate theme still brings an initiating function of some kind; (2) the transition ends normally, but the subordinate theme lacks a clear beginning;  and (3) both the transition lacks an end and the subordinate theme lacks a beginning, thus effecting a complete fusion of these thematic functions.  I extend my consideration of such fusion processes to other formal types, such as slow-movement forms, minuet, and rondo, in order to place the technique as its arises in sonata-form expositions in a broader perspective.  In comparing my theory of formal functions to sonata theory, I invoke the “sonata clock” metaphor, introduced by Hepokoski and Darcy, and show that our respective clocks have different “hour” markers and run at different speeds.  I conclude by examining some of the key conceptual differences that account for the divergent views of expositional structures offered by sonata theory and a theory of formal functions, focusing especially on the status of the medial caesura as a necessary condition for the appearance of a subordinate theme.

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.

Also on FANDOM

Random Wiki